“This is a wonderful opportunity for the program,” Teevens stated, “and we are deeply appreciative of the alumni support that provides an opportunity like this. To be a part of the first night game ever at Dartmouth is something special, and our players and the coaches could not be more excited about this event.”
The project to light the field was funded by Chris Jenny, Class of 1977, and his wife, Andi, along with other generous donors through the Friends of Dartmouth Football. Seven light towers have been installed at Memorial Field, three of which are on top of the Floren Varsity House, one at each end of the West Stands with another behind them, and the other in front of Leverone Field House. As recommended by the NCAA, the power of the lights will be at 50-foot candles for games.
Sheehy added, “This will be a terrific event for the football program, the athletics department, the college and the community. For this historic game to come against the two-time defending Ivy champions will certainly add to the excitement surrounding the event.”
The Dartmouth varsity football program dates back to 1881, with this being the 130th season. The Big Green own an overall record of 651-432-46 (.597 winning percentage) and will have played 1,131 games before playing their first game at night.
Not only is the game with Penn the first Ivy League contest of the season for the two teams, but also a showdown of the two most successful programs in conference history. Dartmouth has won 17 Ivy titles, more than any other school, while the Quakers are second with 15 titles. Penn has won 15 consecutive conference games, having run the table each of the past two years.
The Big Green are on the rise, however, with nine starters returning on each side of the ball from a 2010 team that secured a 6-4 overall record. One of those four losses came against the Quakers in overtime, 35-28, which turned out to be Dartmouth’s lone loss on the road. Penn holds a 44-32-2 mark against the Green with victories in 12 of the last 13 meetings. The one Dartmouth victory in that stretch came four years ago at Memorial Field, 21-13.
Among the stars that will return to the gridiron for the Big Green this year are senior running back Nick Schwieger and senior cornerback/return specialist Shawn Abuhoff. Schwieger rushed for 1,133 yards and 14 touchdowns to earn a share of the 2010 Bushnell Cup as the Ivy League MVP and has been named a preseason All-American by Phil Steele’s College Football and The College Sporting News.
Abuhoff is known not only as one of the top cover men in the league, having successfully defended 14 passes last year with four interceptions, but also as a premier return man having brought back three punts for touchdowns last season. The Sports Network selected him as a first-team All-America punt returner and he has been on numerous preseason All-America teams heading into this season.
Dartmouth has another night game on the 2011 schedule as well with the Big Green playing under the lights at Harvard Stadium against the Crimson on Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. The season opener for Dartmouth will take place on Sept. 17 at home against Colgate at 1:30 p.m.